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U.S. rep tracking separation barrier case

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A California congresswoman is monitoring inquiries into how a constituent was wounded while protesting Israel’s separation barrier.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) told Congress that she was tracking the case of Tristan Anderson, an International Solidarity Movement activist from the Oakland, Calif., area, who was hit in the head March 13 by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during a protest near the West Bank town of Naalin.

"Something went horribly wrong in the village of Naalin, and I am determined to get to the bottom of it," Lee said in her March 30 statement on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. "To this end, I have asked the State Department to report back to me on the status of any investigations into this tragic incident, and to advise me as to when the investigation will be completed, and also, that the report be made public.

"The report should also document the actions that were taken to determine culpability, if any, and to take appropriate corrective actions against those responsible for Mr. Anderson’s injuries. Those responsible for this tragedy, whether through negligence or intentional misconduct, must be held accountable."

Anderson is breathing on his own but at last report was still listed in critical condition.

Weekly protests against the security barrier have taken place around Naalin. Four Palestinians have been killed since the protests began, and 73 police officers and soldiers have been hurt by demonstrators.

Six years ago, another ISM activist, 23-year-old American Rachel Corrie, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to block it from demolishing a Palestinian home. The death was ruled an accident by the Israeli military, but her family continues to press the case for making those responsible accountable.

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